The Daily Dose: Blue Flag

Scientific Name: (Iris Versicolor, Iris Family)

Common Names:   Iris, Flag Lily, Liver Lily, Water Flag, Snake Lily

Medicinal Part:   The Rhizome

Description: Blue Flag is common throughout the United States growing in moist places and bearing blue or purple flowers from May to July.  The root has a peculiar odor, augmented by rubbing or pulverizing, and a disagreeable taste.  It imparts its virtues to boiling water, alcohol, or ether.  The root should be sliced transversely, dried and placed in vessels well closed and in a dark place.  It will then preserve its virtues for a long time.

Properties and Uses: This is one among our most valuable medicinal plants capable of extensive use.  It is alterative, cathartic, and has been popular with the Eclectic Schools of Medicine.  Combined with mandrake, poke, black cohosh, etc., it will sometimes salivate but it need cause no apprehension and when this effect is established it may be distinguished from mercurial salivation by absence of stench, sponginess of the gums and loosening of the teeth.Dose: One teaspoonful of the root to a pint of boiling water.  Drink cold.  2 or 3 tablespoons six times a day.  Of the tincture, 1-10 min.